Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia - May 2022

May 2022

Contents


Message from the Chair

This month we will be celebrating both the International Day of the Midwife and International Nurses Day. On behalf of the NMBA, thank you all for your continued commitment to the health and safety of the public over another year of the pandemic. See our special guests speak to what these days mean for them. 

I encourage you to renew your registration sooner rather than later. The renewal process lets the public and your colleagues know that you’re still meeting the standards of your trusted professions. Thank you to those that have already renewed, for those that are yet to, more information about your renewal can be found below. Please continue to do CPD that is relevant to your context of practice and your current work environment. See below for more information about your CPD requirements for 2022 registration.

Finally, I congratulate the staff of Nurse and Midwife Support who recently celebrated their fifth year in operation. This independent service is run by nurses and midwives for nurses and midwives, providing crucial mental health and support services when you need it most. Read more below about the extra support this service is providing during the pandemic

 

Adjunct Professor Veronica Casey

Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Veronica Casey   

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NMBA news

Professional care for women: The NMBA thanks midwives

The International Day of the Midwife is held each year on 5 May 2022. Adjunct Professor Veronica Casey and the NMBA would like to 'thank midwives and acknowledge midwifery’s long and significant history of supporting women’s health'. 

'This year marks the 100th anniversary of the International Confederation of Midwives. We celebrate the day reflecting on the last 100 years of progress within the profession, while acknowledging its much longer history,thank you for all that you do, have a great day.' 

International Day of the Midwife from AhpraCommunications on Vimeo.

Proven leadership to support public health: NMBA says thank you on International Nurses Day

On May 12, we will celebrate International Nurses Day and Adjunct Professor Veronica Casey and the NMBA would like to 'thank nurse practitioners, registered nurses and enrolled nurses for their leadership and provision of health care in diverse settings across Australia and the world.'

International Nurses Day 2022 from AhpraCommunications on Vimeo.

More support for nurses and midwives

Launched in 2017, Nurse and Midwife Support is the first national telephone and online service to offer 24-7 health support to nurses and midwives across Australia. This free and confidential service is focused on improving the health and well being of nurses and midwives and in turn safer care for the public. 

After celebrating its fifth year of operation, the service has made short term extensions to support nurses and midwives working through the pandemic. These services include:

  • extended call back service
  • more staff and marketing to improve awareness of the service
  • the option of a one-off 50-minute session with experienced counsellors and
  • the option to link out to other available support services.

These short-term services will be available to all nurses and midwives until June 30 2022. To get in touch with Nurse & Midwife Support, visit the website at nmsupport.org.au or phone 1800 667 877.

Updates from recent NMBA meetings

In late February, the NMBA approved a new suite of services for Nurse & Midwife Support that involves a notification navigator, well being resources and graduate support services. The purpose of this suite is to support nurses and midwives across a greater range of issues that may be experienced within the workplace or in their home lives while improving its general accessibility. The NMBA has also recently approved a project to examine the role, scope of practice and education of maternal, child and family health practitioners in Australia. This project will explore the role and how it intersects with the nursing and midwifery professions. 

Board members also represented the NMBA and paid their respects at ANZAC Day events across Australia. 

3 ACT Board members lay wreath at nurse's memorial along Anzac paradeVictorian Board members lay wreath at Nurses Memorial Centre for Anzac Day ServiceHobart Board members laying wreath at Anzac Dawn Service












Images (left to right):
ACT Board members Felicity Dalzell, Katrina Cubit and Alison Archer lay a wreath at the Nurses Memorial on Anzac Parade, Wreath laid at the Nurses Memorial Centre in Melbourne by Victorian Community Board member Thilaka Satha, Practitioner member Hazel Butcher attended Hobart Cenotaph Dawn Anzac Day ceremony on behalf of the Tasmanian NMBA

Each month the NMBA makes decisions on approved programs of study leading to registration and endorsement. To see the up-to-date, searchable list of approved programs, please visit the Approved programs of study section on our website.

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Registration

Time to renew your registration: renew now and avoid late fees

Nurses and midwives will have until 31 May 2022 to renew their registration and should have received a reminder email from Ahpra providing access to online renewal. If you did not receive this email you can log in to practitioner online services

What's different this year?

Renewal is now online only. We’ve moved to online only for general and non-practising registration renewal. Over 99% of health practitioners already renew online, it’s the quickest and easiest way to renew. This means that you cannot use any of the hard copy forms on the NMBA website as these are for other registration types and not registration renewal. 

Changes to payment options

Renewal fees can be paid by credit/debit card. If you do not have a credit/debit card you can purchase a pre-paid debit card from various retail outlets for a nominal fee. BPay is no longer available, as it can cause delays in renewing your registration.

Helpful tips for your renewal

  • Renew through Ahpra’s online services, here you can update your personal details, check on your application and print a free copy of your registration certificate
  • Your user ID is different to your registration number. To log in, use the user ID sent to you via your renewal reminder emails. If you cannot find your user ID contact our Customer Service team on 1300 419 495 (in Australia) or +61 3 9285 3010 if you’re outside of Australia. Our opening hours are Mon-Fri 9am-5pm local time. 
  • Know your user ID but forgotten your password? You can reset your password online. 

Health issues - when to declare them

Unsure of when you should be declaring a health impairment? You only need to declare an impairment that may detrimentally affect or is likely to detrimentally affect your ability to practise safely. This refers to any physical or mental impairment, disability, condition or disorder (including substance abuse or dependence). 

Things you won’t need to declare include a new set of glasses or a temporary injury such as a sprained ankle or wrist. 

If you believe you have an impairment that either affects or is likely to affect your ability to practise, you must tell us about it and how you plan to manage it. You will need to provide documents outlining your current diagnoses and/or a treatment plan with a statement from your treating health practitioner confirming your current fitness to practise. 

If you have an impairment to declare, remember to provide all documentation during your renewal application. This will speed up the assessment of your application. 

CPD Requirements in 2022

The NMBA is aware that there are many continuing professional development (CPD) activities that are COVID-safe options and many CPD programs and providers have now adapted their programs to be COVID-safe. We encourage you to continue to do CPD that is relevant to your context of practice and your current work environment. These learning opportunities may also contribute to CPD hours:

  • COVID-19 in-services
  • reading and reflecting on COVID-19 journal articles, and
  • COVID-19 infection control training - online training modules (please see the Australian Government Department of Health website for more information).

We believe most nurses and midwives will be meeting their CPD requirements through new learning related to COVID-19. However, we understand you may not have kept your usual CPD records and reflections.

You must answer all renewal questions honestly and accurately. If you believe you have met the CPD requirements, you can declare this at renewal even if you haven’t kept relevant records. 

The NMBA will not be auditing nurses and midwives against the CPD standard this year, although we may still take action against a nurse or midwife who makes false declarations at renewal.

CPD evidence may still be requested for nurses and/or midwives who declare that they are unable to meet the Registration standard: Recency of practice.

Rural and Isolated Practice (RIP) endorsement transitioning to retirement

This year when you renew your registration, you’ll still have the option to renew your Endorsement for scheduled medicines for registered nurses (rural and isolated practice) (RIP endorsement). However, the RIP endorsement is no longer required. All states and territories in Australia now enable rural and isolated practice registered nurses (RNs) to supply, obtain and administer certain scheduled medicines under local medicines and poisons legislation, policies and protocols without needing an endorsement. This means the RIP endorsement will be retired from next year.

What you need to do at registration renewal this year

To support a smooth transition, you can still renew your endorsement this year when renewing your registration, but it is optional. Since the RIP endorsement is no longer necessary, RNs who do not renew their RIP endorsement will still be able to continue their medicines practice in rural and isolated practice settings and their day-to-day practice will not change.

Next year RIP endorsement will be retired and you won’t be asked to renew your endorsement again. 

Thank you for providing care in rural and isolated settings

We recognise the vital role RIP endorsed RNs have played in providing timely, localised nursing care in rural and isolated practice settings where access to other health professionals may have be limited. The NMBA thanks you for your continued efforts in bringing vital health care services to the Australian community.

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Students and graduates

Helpful links for your first year of registration

We understand that your first year as a registered practitioner can be a challenging but exciting experience. As a nurse or midwife, you are now considered among the most trusted professions in the world and are responsible for upholding its values and standards. Because of this we’ve created a quick list of items we think could be helpful for you in your everyday practice.  

Decision making framework

Throughout your career you are expected to delegate tasks and take initiative while always acting within the bounds of your scope of practice. As a graduate, you may still be unsure of when and how to act in certain scenarios. We have developed a decision-making framework to help you make consistent, safe, person/woman centred and evidence-based decisions. This framework is a great tool to reference if you’re ever unsure of your decisions. 

What is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and why is it important? 

CPD is how all practitioners maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and competence. As a nurse or midwife, it’s an important method that facilitates your continued growth, as well as ensures you maintain a certain standard of care for your patients throughout your career. You must complete your CPD if you wish to maintain your registration, whether you’re practising or not. 

You can find a list of various CPD activities available to you on our website

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII): what is it and when do I need it?

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) is required for any practitioner in order to be registered. It protects both the public and the nurse of midwife if an issue arises. You are responsible for organising and providing proof of your PII upon registration. If you hold a non-practising registration, you are not required to continue your PII.

For more tips, visit the NMBA’s First time renewing page.

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Nursing and midwifery regulation at work: notification case studies

Tribunal cancels registration of nurse for breaching professional boundaries

A tribunal has ordered the cancellation of an enrolled nurse’s registration after he breached professional boundaries by forming sexual relationships with his patients. 

Trigger warning: Some readers may find this article distressing. If you are experiencing distress, please visit the NM Support website or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 for help.

Read more

Nurse convicted of practising before she was registered

A woman who worked as a registered nurse at a hospital and an aged care residence in Sydney when she was not registered was yesterday convicted after pleading guilty in the Downing Centre Local Court of New South Wales following charges laid by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra).

Read more

Fake nurse convicted after failing to appear in court

A Sydney woman who worked as a nurse at a medical centre despite not being qualified or registered to practise was on Wednesday convicted in her absence after failing to appear in the Windsor Local Court of New South Wales.

Read more

National Scheme news

Were you on the pandemic sub-register? Check your registration status

The Board thanks nurses and midwives who were on the 2020 pandemic response sub-register (now closed) and reminds them to check their registration status.

Nurses and midwives on the 2020 sub-register had to do one of the following before 5 April 2022:

  • opt in to extend their temporary registration, or
  • formally apply for registration on the main register (Register of practitioners) using a transition pathway.

If you had non-practising registration before being on the 2020 sub-register you have been returned to that registration type on the main register unless you have applied for general registration. Practitioners who did nothing and allowed their registration to expire on 5 April 2022 are no longer registered.

If you opted in

If you opted in to extend your temporary registration it now expires at midnight on 21 September 2022, and you can practise to the full scope of your registration until that date. You appear on the register as being a practitioner on the 2021 pandemic response sub-register. As of 6 April 2022, there are 20,730 practitioners from 12 professions on the 2021 sub-register.

If you chose the transition pathway

If you applied for registration on the main register and your application is still being assessed by Ahpra, your temporary registration will remain in effect and will be shown on the register until the application is decided and your details are updated. Your registration will continue to be limited to practice for the COVID-19 response until you are advised about the outcome of your application.

Need more information?

More information is included in a news item on the NMBA’s website.

If you were on the 2020 sub-register and have a question about your registration, contact pandemicregister@ahpra.gov.au.  

Latest podcast: Openness and Candour - a road to greater patient safety

In the latest episode of Taking care, we look at the benefits of greater openness and candour between health practitioners, their patients and the patients' families - especially when things go wrong. 

Host Tash Miles speaks with Patients for Patient Safety US network founding member Sue Sheridan; UK Charity Action Against Medical Accidents CEO Peter Walsh; and Australian health lawyer Michael Gorton, who is a member of the Expert Working Group for Statutory Duty of Candour in Victoria and Chair of the Alfred Hospital. Our guests discuss what could be achieved by encouraging more openness, and how to create environments where it is acceptable to acknowledge shortcomings - and seek and provide answers for patients and their families - so further harm is avoided.  

Ahpra releases a new Taking care episode fortnightly, discussing current topics and the latest issues affecting safe healthcare in Australia. Download and listen today. You can also listen and subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and by searching ‘Taking care’ in your podcast player.

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Keep in touch with the NMBA

  • Visit the NMBA website for registration standards, codes, guidelines and FAQs.
  • Lodge an online enquiry form.
  • For registration enquiries, call 1300 419 495 (from within Australia) or +61 3 9285 3010 (for overseas callers).
  • Address mail correspondence to: Adjunct Professor Veronica Casey AM, Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne, VIC 3001.

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Page reviewed 9/05/2022